Thursday's New York Times off-lead by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg was intended to cause heartburn for the Mitt Romney camp: "G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighing A Hard-Line Attack on Obama."

The ad strategy, which was aborted after the Times ran with it on Thursday's front page, would have emphasized Obama's controversial Chicago pastor, the racially inflammatory Jeremiah Wright. But the Times as usual described Rev. Wright's anti-white jeremiads in bland terms, burying Wright's 9-11 quote that the attack was “America’s chickens are coming home to roost," and left out his notorious "God damn America!" rant completely. That distanced approach matches the paper's reluctant Wright coverage during the 2008 campaign.



Oh how I love when Ed Schultz criticizes anyone else as unhinged.

Schultz did this for much of last week, lashing out at rocker Ted Nugent's gung-ho rhetoric at the NRA convention. (audio clips after page break)



Happen to notice if a state senator named Obama was there too ...?

Freshly-minted MSNBC weekend host and purported Tulane academic Melissa Harris-Perry revealed on Al Sharpton's radio show Tuesday that she was in the audience at Trinity United Church of Christ for Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermon on the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks. (audio clip after page break)



At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry admonished Rick Santorum for accurately describing President Obama's religious history: "Fanning the flames. Rick Santorum takes a new shot at President Obama's faith by mentioning his controversial former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright."

In a later report, correspondent Peter Alexander announced: "Rick Santorum isn't backing down from what some viewed as a shot this weekend at the President's faith....On Fox News, Santorum may have fanned the flames, when he again insisted he was not questioning the President's Christianity."



On Friday's CBS This Morning, Rick Santorum pushed back against Charlie Rose's interrogation about supporter Foster Friess's recent "bad off-color joke" on contraception, all but name-dropping former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of the media's double standard on playing "gotcha" politics with Republicans, but not Democrats.

Rose initially countered, "This is not gotcha; what this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president." But the GOP presidential candidate wasn't having any of it: "You don't do this with President Obama...he sat in a church for 20 years, and [you] defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard...and I'm going to call you on it" [audio available here; video below the jump].



On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor hosted a live Facebook discussion on her new book on the Obamas and especially First Lady Michelle Obama. If this Facebook session is any indication, the book matches Kantor’s previous promotional coverage of the First Couple. On Facebook Kantor describes the First Lady as someone “with important ideas of her own about opportunity, access, equality, etc,” who “has redefined the role of first lady for successors...she's really raised the bar for ambitious initiatives.”

Revealingly, when asked about her latest scoops being allegedly used by Fox News and the Drudge Report as a “racial attack against the Obamas,” Kantor emphasized to her predominantly liberal audience how she broke the news about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry (in a bland story), and wrote a follow up “which I labored and labored over to make fair.” And it was “fair,” at least from the perspective of an Obama supporter.



On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that CNN in the six days after Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was published did more stories on that subject than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.

On Fox News Monday, Bill O'Reilly agreed with our analysis saying, "This is disturbing," as did guest Bernie Goldberg who explained, "The reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



As NewsBusters reported Monday, the broadcast network news outlets of ABC, CBS and NBC ran a total of 84 stories on the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in the week following Politico publishing its hit piece.

That is more coverage than they gave to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, or America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright throughout the entire campaign.



As of Monday, the so-called news network MSNBC has already run more stories about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment than it did Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.



If you needed any more evidence of the political leaning of CNN, consider that much like Politico, it has in the last six days done at least 94 reports on the sexual harassment allegations involving Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Substantially more shocking, according to LexisNexis, the supposedly most trusted name in news only did 77 total stories on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright.



As NewsBusters reported last week, New York Times outgoing executive editor Bill Keller believes presidential candidates should be questioned about their religious beliefs.

On Monday's "The O'Reilly Factor," media critic Bernie Goldberg marvelously said, "I wish that he and the New York Times was as concerned about religion and politics during the last campaign when it pertained to Barack Obama, who sat in a church with a hateful minister for 20 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



The New York Times’s outgoing Executive Editor Bill Keller received some pushback on his recently posted column that demanded, in rather insulting fashion, that the media more aggressively question the religious views of the G.O.P. candidates.

Times Watch and others noted that his paper was hardly a model of journalistic assertiveness during the spring of 2008, when Barack Obama endured political controversy over the racially inflammatory and conspiracy-minded Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's minister at Trinity United Church of Christ. Keller responded via Twitter on Friday morning:

Yes, Dems should be asked about their faith (and influences) too. We were late to Rev. Wright in '08, but we got there, and did it well.